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Karen Read trial: Judge declares mistrial

Internashonal

Karen Read trial: Judge declares mistrial


MARIA STEPHANOS AND I’M JOHN ATWATER IN FOR ED TONIGHT. IT IS A CASE THAT HAS ROCKED CANTON TO ITS CORE. SO WHAT’S NEXT? REED PLEADED NOT GUILTY TO SECOND DEGREE MURDER MANSLAUGHTER WHILE OPERATING UNDER THE INFLUENCE AND LEAVING THE SCENE OF PERSONAL INJURY AND DEATH. HER DEFENSE CLAIMED THERE WAS A COVER UP AND ARGUED THAT O’KEEFE WAS BEATEN UP, BITTEN BY A DOG AND DRAGGED OUTSIDE. OUR TEAM COVERAGE ON WHERE THIS GOES FROM HERE BEGINS TONIGHT WITH EMILY MAHER LIVE OUTSIDE THE COURTHOUSE. WITH THAT BREAKING NEWS ABOUT TROOPER PROCTOR EMILY. WELL, JOHN MARIA, TROOPER MICHAEL PROCTOR TOOK THE STAND DURING THIS TRIAL, READING WHAT HE DESCRIBED AS THE REGRETTABLE AND UNPROFESSIONAL TEXTS HE SENT ABOUT KAREN REED WHILE WORKING AS THE LEAD INVESTIGATOR ON THIS CASE TONIGHT. HE’S BEEN RELIEVED OF DUTY JUST HOURS AFTER A MISTRIAL WAS DECLARED. THIS IS TROOPER MICHAEL PROCTOR ON THE STAND DURING THE TRIAL, WHERE HE READS THE CRUDE AND VULGAR TEXTS HE SENT DURING THE MURDER INVESTIGATION AND ADMITTED TO DRINKING WITH A BROTHER OF A WITNESS. TONIGHT, STATE POLICE SAY HE’S BEING REMOVED FROM THE NORFOLK COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY. STATE POLICE DETECTIVES UNIT. JUST HOURS AFTER A MISTRIAL WAS DECLARED. YOUR SERVICE IS COMPLETE. I’M DECLARING A MISTRIAL IN THIS CASE, THE SIX WOMEN AND SIX MEN TASKED WITH DECIDING THE FATE OF KAREN REED SAY THEY WERE DEEPLY DIVIDED AT AN IMPOSSIBLE IMPASSE. REED IS ACCUSED OF HITTING HER. BOSTON POLICE OFFICER BOYFRIEND, JOHN O’KEEFE, WITH HER SUV AND LEAVING HIM IN THE SNOW TO DIE. OUR DAVID BIENICK COVERING THE TRIAL GAVEL TO GAVEL, WATCHING AS JURORS LEFT THE COURTHOUSE ONE LAST TIME. THEY FILED OUT MOST OF THEM, IN FACT, ALL OF THEM HAD THEIR HEADS DOWN, SOME WITH STERN LOOKS ON THEIR FACES. AT LEAST A COUPLE OF THEM LOOKED LIKE THEY WERE ANGRY AND FRUSTRATED. INSIDE THE COURTROOM, JOHN O’KEEFE’S MOTHER LOOKED DOWN, WIPING HER NOSE AS KAREN REED HUGGED HER FATHER. REED AND HER ATTORNEY. SPEAKING ON THE COURTHOUSE STEPS CONDEMNING PROSECUTORS. THEY FAILED. THEY FAILED MISERABLY, AND THEY’LL CONTINUE TO FAIL, JOHN O’KEEFE’S FAMILY AND SUPPORTERS WALKING DOWN THE SAME STEPS, SAYING NOTHING. IN A STATEMENT, THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY SAYS THEY WILL RETRY THE CASE AND THANKED O’KEEFE’S FAMILY, SAYING, QUOTE, THEY MAINTAINED SIGHT OF THE TRUE CORE OF THIS CASE TO FIND JUSTICE FOR JOHN O’KEEFE. AS FOR TROOPER MICHAEL PROCTOR, STATE POLICE SAY HE IS RELIEVED OF DUTY EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY. THAT MEANS HE IS STILL TECHNICALLY EMPLOYED BY THE DEPARTMENT, BUT CA

Karen Read trial: Judge declares mistrial in high-profile Massachusetts murder case

DA says his office plans to re-try the case

A mistrial was declared Monday after a Massachusetts jury of six women and six men informed the judge they were hopelessly deadlocked in the murder trial of Karen Read, the woman accused of hitting John O’Keefe, her boyfriend, with an SUV and leaving him to die in a snowstorm.The six men and six women sent the judge notes on Friday and Monday expressing that they were unable to reach a unanimous verdict. “We continue to find ourselves at an impasse,” the jurors wrote in their final note. “Our perspectives on the evidence are starkly divided. Some members of the jury firmly believe the evidence surprises the burden of proof establishing the elements of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Conversely, others find the evidence fails to meet this standard and does not sufficiently establish the necessary elements of the charges.”After reading their note aloud, Judge Beverly Cannone declared the mistrial. “They failed. They failed miserably and they’ll continue to fail,” defense attorney Alan Jackson said outside the courthouse. “No matter how long it takes, no matter how long they keep trying, we will not stop fighting. We have no quit.” (Video below)Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey said in a statement on Monday afternoon that his office plans to re-try the case.”We thank the O’Keefe family for their commitment and dedication to this long process. They maintained sight of the true core of this case – to find justice for John O’Keefe,” Morrissey’s office wrote. “The Commonwealth intends to re-try the case.”Read, 44, of Mansfield, is accused of hitting O’Keefe with her black SUV outside of a home at 34 Fairview Road in Canton on Jan. 29, 2022, following a night of drinking. Her defense contends O’Keefe, a Boston police officer, was dragged outside after he was beaten up in the basement and bitten by a dog at fellow Boston officer Brian Albert’s home in Canton.Read, a former adjunct professor at Bentley University, pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree murder, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, along with manslaughter while operating under the influence of alcohol and leaving a scene of personal injury and death. The manslaughter charge carries a penalty of five to 20 years in prison, and the other charge has a maximum penalty of 10 years.The parties are due to return to court on July 22 for a status conference. “Right now, the district attorney is totally in charge in terms of the charges,” Coakley said. “They can also seek to plea bargain, which is something that I’m guessing they will at least talk about.”Hours after the mistrial was declared, the Massachusetts State Police announced that Trooper Michael Proctor, the lead state police investigator who was at the center of controversy in the case, had been relieved from duty and transferred out of the detective unit of the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office.During the trial, Proctor was questioned about messages he shared with a group of friends in which he called Read a “whack job” and an expletive.He is now the subject of a state police internal affairs investigation.Video below: How supporters outside the courthouse reacted to the mistrialRelated links:Watch full video of closing arguments Recap of testimony, evidence from each day of the caseEvidence slideshowWhat to know about the case:Karen Read, 44, of Mansfield, is accused of second-degree murder and other charges. The prosecution says she hit her boyfriend, Boston police officer John O’Keefe, with her vehicle outside of a home in Canton during a snowstorm on Jan. 29, 2022, following a night of drinking. She returned hours later to find him in a snowbank.Read has pleaded not guilty.Read and her defense team claim she is the victim of a cover-up and planned to present a third-party culprit defense. They claim O’Keefe was beaten inside the home, bitten by a dog, and then left outside.In pretrial motions, prosecutors revealed the existence of text messages they said suggested a “romantic entanglement” with a friend who was present at locations Read and O’Keefe visited on the night of the incident. Other documents have also suggested trouble in the relationship between Read and O’Keefe.Read is also accused of having frequent contact with a controversial blogger known as “Turtleboy,” Aiden Kearney, who now faces charges in related cases.Opening statements were delivered on April 29 and closing arguments were delivered on June 25.Read’s case was surrounded by a media storm, underpinned by a distrust of police and fanned by crime bloggers. Large crowds of supporters, often wearing pink, gathered outside the courthouse throughout the case. During closing arguments, defense attorney Alan Jackson told the jury, “You have been lied to.”He argued that evidence, including an inverted video of Read’s SUV in the Canton Police Department’s garage, was intentionally manipulated by an investigation that sought to protect other members of the law enforcement community.“Ladies and gentlemen, there was a cover-up in this case, plain and simple,” Jackson said.Prosecutor Adam Lally offered jurors a timeline, paired with evidence numbers, documenting their theory of the case. He also opened his presentation by quoting numerous first responders who testified that they heard Read say, “I hit him.”“Those were the words that came from the defendant’s mouth,” Lally said. The defense said witnesses who claimed to have heard her say she hit O’Keefe had changed their story or couldn’t have heard the comments due to the chaotic scene. Jackson said investigators focused on Read because she was a “convenient outsider” who saved them from having to consider other suspects, including Albert and other law enforcement officers who were at the party. In particular, they highlighted connections between Albert and the state trooper leading the investigation.“Michael Proctor didn’t draw a thin blue line; he erected a tall blue wall,” Jackson said. “A wall that you can’t scale, a wall that Karen Read certainly couldn’t get over. A wall between us and them. A place you folk are not invited. We protect our own.”Although Read said she was willing to testify, she never took the stand in her own defense.

A mistrial was declared Monday after a Massachusetts jury of six women and six men informed the judge they were hopelessly deadlocked in the murder trial of Karen Read, the woman accused of hitting John O’Keefe, her boyfriend, with an SUV and leaving him to die in a snowstorm.

The six men and six women sent the judge notes on Friday and Monday expressing that they were unable to reach a unanimous verdict.

“We continue to find ourselves at an impasse,” the jurors wrote in their final note. “Our perspectives on the evidence are starkly divided. Some members of the jury firmly believe the evidence surprises the burden of proof establishing the elements of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Conversely, others find the evidence fails to meet this standard and does not sufficiently establish the necessary elements of the charges.”

After reading their note aloud, Judge Beverly Cannone declared the mistrial.

“They failed. They failed miserably and they’ll continue to fail,” defense attorney Alan Jackson said outside the courthouse. “No matter how long it takes, no matter how long they keep trying, we will not stop fighting. We have no quit.” (Video below)

Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey said in a statement on Monday afternoon that his office plans to re-try the case.

“We thank the O’Keefe family for their commitment and dedication to this long process. They maintained sight of the true core of this case – to find justice for John O’Keefe,” Morrissey’s office wrote. “The Commonwealth intends to re-try the case.”

Read, 44, of Mansfield, is accused of hitting O’Keefe with her black SUV outside of a home at 34 Fairview Road in Canton on Jan. 29, 2022, following a night of drinking. Her defense contends O’Keefe, a Boston police officer, was dragged outside after he was beaten up in the basement and bitten by a dog at fellow Boston officer Brian Albert’s home in Canton.

Read, a former adjunct professor at Bentley University, pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree murder, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, along with manslaughter while operating under the influence of alcohol and leaving a scene of personal injury and death. The manslaughter charge carries a penalty of five to 20 years in prison, and the other charge has a maximum penalty of 10 years.

The parties are due to return to court on July 22 for a status conference.

“Right now, the district attorney is totally in charge in terms of the charges,” Coakley said. “They can also seek to plea bargain, which is something that I’m guessing they will at least talk about.”

Hours after the mistrial was declared, the Massachusetts State Police announced that Trooper Michael Proctor, the lead state police investigator who was at the center of controversy in the case, had been relieved from duty and transferred out of the detective unit of the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office.

During the trial, Proctor was questioned about messages he shared with a group of friends in which he called Read a “whack job” and an expletive.

He is now the subject of a state police internal affairs investigation.

Video below: How supporters outside the courthouse reacted to the mistrial


Related links:

What to know about the case:

  • Karen Read, 44, of Mansfield, is accused of second-degree murder and other charges. The prosecution says she hit her boyfriend, Boston police officer John O’Keefe, with her vehicle outside of a home in Canton during a snowstorm on Jan. 29, 2022, following a night of drinking. She returned hours later to find him in a snowbank.
  • Read has pleaded not guilty.
  • Read and her defense team claim she is the victim of a cover-up and planned to present a third-party culprit defense. They claim O’Keefe was beaten inside the home, bitten by a dog, and then left outside.
  • In pretrial motions, prosecutors revealed the existence of text messages they said suggested a “romantic entanglement” with a friend who was present at locations Read and O’Keefe visited on the night of the incident. Other documents have also suggested trouble in the relationship between Read and O’Keefe.
  • Read is also accused of having frequent contact with a controversial blogger known as “Turtleboy,” Aiden Kearney, who now faces charges in related cases.
  • Opening statements were delivered on April 29 and closing arguments were delivered on June 25.

Read’s case was surrounded by a media storm, underpinned by a distrust of police and fanned by crime bloggers. Large crowds of supporters, often wearing pink, gathered outside the courthouse throughout the case.

During closing arguments, defense attorney Alan Jackson told the jury, “You have been lied to.”

He argued that evidence, including an inverted video of Read’s SUV in the Canton Police Department’s garage, was intentionally manipulated by an investigation that sought to protect other members of the law enforcement community.

“Ladies and gentlemen, there was a cover-up in this case, plain and simple,” Jackson said.

Prosecutor Adam Lally offered jurors a timeline, paired with evidence numbers, documenting their theory of the case. He also opened his presentation by quoting numerous first responders who testified that they heard Read say, “I hit him.”

“Those were the words that came from the defendant’s mouth,” Lally said.

The defense said witnesses who claimed to have heard her say she hit O’Keefe had changed their story or couldn’t have heard the comments due to the chaotic scene. Jackson said investigators focused on Read because she was a “convenient outsider” who saved them from having to consider other suspects, including Albert and other law enforcement officers who were at the party. In particular, they highlighted connections between Albert and the state trooper leading the investigation.

“Michael Proctor didn’t draw a thin blue line; he erected a tall blue wall,” Jackson said. “A wall that you can’t scale, a wall that Karen Read certainly couldn’t get over. A wall between us and them. A place you folk are not invited. We protect our own.”

Although Read said she was willing to testify, she never took the stand in her own defense.



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